Because it's my favorite flavor, this week I'm bringing you vintage chronographs and nothing but vintage chronographs, including two from a sort of B or C list brand of its time, Bucherer.
Bucherer is one of the oldest family owned Swiss watch manufacturers, dating back to 1888. In present day, they not only retail their own brand of watches, Carl F. Bucherer, they are also a retailer for a cache of luxury watch brands, including Rolex. That really doesn’t have a ton to do with these two vintage pieces, especially because most of their 1960’s and 70’s tool and sport watches were rebranded versions of other more reputable manufacturers. As stated in previous posts, this was very common of that era, and not necessarily a bad thing, essentially making some great watches more accessible due to the name on the dial.
What makes this one particularly interesting is that it has attributes of a wide variety of great watches. Starting with the compressor style case with the correctly identifying crosshatch crown, these cases were developed by EPSA to actually become more waterproof at increased depths due to the pressure pushing the caseback tighter against the case. The signature EPSA compressor cases are shared across a ton of notable tool watches of the 60’s and 70’s, and this one appears to be in overall good condition. The bevels on the lugs might be a touch soft, but remain thick overall. The rotating bezel and period correct (perhaps original) Tropic strap with curved ends complete the water oriented package.
The dial sports a very unique color combination with thin applied indices, funky white hands, and the regatta timing minutes sub register. Where it gets particularly interesting though, is in the date placement, overlapping the running seconds register at 9 o’clock. I’ve only really seen this on the not too often seen Omega 146.017 De Ville chronograph, seen here in Fratello Watches’ fantastic #TBT posts, https://www.fratellowatches.com/tbt-omega-deville-chronograph-146017/. This is further supported by the use of the Lemania Cal 3872 movement, aka the Omega cal. 930. Interesting to note that the Omega example in the Fratello article also had an EPSA stamped caseback, further pushing how much these watches have in common.
So, like I said, vintage Bucherer’s tend to be a poor man’s version of other more common watches, though this one is a little more interesting with the use of the compressor style case that wears to more modern size standards as a vintage piece. The seller gave a pretty complete description and seems to know the lingo, so I’m guessing any questions should be answered fairly accurately. This one is sitting at $455 on eBay and ending on Monday.
This next Bucherer falls into the hopefully “cheap thrills” category. I say hopefully, because this one won’t necessarily be sought after or expected to appreciate a significant amount in value, but that’s not why you should be buying watches anyways. What this one does have is a lot of vintage charm in the chunky 70’s c-shaped or cushion-esque case. The real show stopper though is the garnet colored dial with the prominent and puffy tritium lume plots. The sub register hands continue the funky 70’s vibe in what seems to be a fairly honest package overall. I would presume a movement along the lines of the ubiquitous Valjoux 7733 to be under the hood, and it is said to be working, though maybe someone should tell the seller to stop messing with it, since they clearly don’t know how to work it.
These are the great kinds of watches to tie you over in between the big purchases. All steel, plenty of vintage charm, great features like the rotating bezel and huge lume plots, all for a hopefully affordable price. I like to see watches like this stay under $500, but I could see a higher price justified. Currently sitting at $61 on eBay here.
Dipping back into the vintage compressor case chronographs, these 1960’s Omega Seamaster chronos are some of the most underrated vintage Omegas and vintage chronographs in general, in my opinion. They shared the same caliber 321 and 861 movements with the Speedmasters but with a little more classy, country club appearance. I would suspect this early example sports the coveted cal. 321 column wheel movement that went to the moon inside of a Speedmaster in its 35 mm case, as indicated by the earlier styled caseback, but it could very well be worthwhile to get some more info from the seller. The silver starburst dial has a subtle warm patina to it, and I love the applied 12 and hour indices, very similar to the tachy dial second execution Heuer Autavias. Much like the Heuer Carreras and Autavias, this will wear larger than the size suggest due to the elongated lugs and lack of a bezel. The dial appears to be in very good condition overall, all original with all tritium lume plots present and matching the lume filled hands. I am not an expert in all of the nuances of these Omegas, but I believe even the flat foot Omega logo crown is original, as is the original Omega logo crown.
Take this thing off the ugly Speidel band and throw it on a leather strap for instant #vintagechronograph steez. Currently at $1425 on eBay here.
I certainly have not been shy about my love for "poor man's Camaros" as indicated here and here, (mainly because I kick myself everyday for how much the prices have gone up in the last 3 years), so I thought I'd keep this trend ongoing with this very clean, inverse panda matte dial Camaro. This one follows the same trend as the others taking the same cushion shaped Camaro case, Valjoux 72 movement, and adding a bit more character and color to the hands and dial when Heuer isn't stamped on the dial. The case is a bit worn as evidenced by the starburst brushing on the top surface being fairly worn away, but seems to be unpolished overall, as evidenced by the seams or the outside corners of the beveled edge that transitions the top of the case to the side. I really love the rough texture of the very matte black dial on this, and the rest of the dial is in quite good condition as well. The watch seems correct and unmolested overall, with appropriate pushers, crown, caseback, etc. With most of the three register Camaros now selling for well over $5k, this one could easily be a good buy at less than half the price. It's currently sitting at 877GBP or about $1120.50 on eBay here.
Thank you for reading, and as always, if you're out and about, stumble upon something cool, or just have a question, please feel free to leave a comment, contact me here, or tag @meticulist on instagram or use the hashtag #thesubregister.